Saturday, 8 August 2020

ACQUANETTA M. SPROULE — MIDNIGHT VERSION SYMPATHETIC AGONY

⌾ LISTEN TO ACQUANETTA M. SPROULE, MIDNIGHT VERSION SYMPATHETIC AGONY ⌾

When something sounds like a certain genre, but its visual style doesn't match up to said genre, the question of what it is — especially when the music doesn't seem to ascribe to any particular genre or style at all — becomes an enquiry that is lost in the ether. And that's where the music of Acquanetta M. Sproule comes in.

Feeling somewhat like the aural equivalent of outsider art, the unapologetically unpolished tracks created by this producer speak distantly of dungeon synth. Yet with no fantasty-daubed artwork to denote it as such, one can only wonder what it is. Nevertheless, with its midiwave vibe and simplistic composition, there is no question of its mood-summoning powers.

The imaginative, no-holds-barred eschewing of anything particularly traditional or trend-led helps make 'Midnight Version Sympathetic Agony' — and much of Acquanetta M. Sproule's oeuvre — refreshingly unexpected. And yet it has this world-painting drive behind it, the midi aesthetic calling to mind Hiroki Kikuta's soundtrack for Secret of Mana, particularly this track, with bass elements that feel close to the Cosmo Canyon theme in Final Fantasy VII.

And akin to such scene-setting videogame music, 'Midnight Version Sympathetic Agony' sets a mood. Its bass, percussive and propulsive, creeps and sneaks as if through shadows, while a glittery, somersaulting refrain roots this music somewhere fantastical, with hollow, airy sounds decisively tipping the track into a hidden realm of caves and curiosity.



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